Pet Security: Your Pet Needs a Tag!
Whether it is lost or stolen, losing a pet is an agonizing experience. According to the National Council on Pet Population Study and Policy, only about 2 percent of cats and 15 percent of dogs that enter U.S. animal shelters as strays every year are reunited with their owners.
The reason is shockingly simple -- too many owners fail to put identification on their animals, especially cats, to ensure their safe return home. Yet, even the most responsible pet owners can face unexpected circumstances that cause their animals to accidentally stray. This is especially true during summer when windows and doors tend to be open.
The following are common types of identification that can mean the difference between life and death for your best friend. Remember, with each of these methods, it is imperative to keep your information up to date.
All cats and dogs need to wear collars with city licenses and rabies vaccination tags. Personal ID tags are essential backups. The tag should include the owner's name, address, telephone numbers (day and evening) and the pet's name. Also:
- If you are willing to pay a reward, put the word "reward" on the tag
- If you are traveling, put a temporary tag on your pet with the contact information of someone who knows how to reach you
- Use a collar especially made for cats that has a short piece of elastic sewn in it
- These collars allow the cat to escape if it gets caught on window blinds, furniture, fencing or other objects
- Tag your cat even if you never let it outside. It could slip through an open door and easily become lost in the neighborhood
A tattoo is a permanent ID system that involves marking a code on the pet's skin. The finder calls a database and uses the code to obtain the owner's current address and phone number.
This is an invaluable ID should a pet be stolen for research, since laboratories will instantly know the animal is not abandoned, but a beloved pet.
Microchips are tiny electronic capsules embedded under the pet's skin. When a pet is found, any agency with a scanner, including many animal care and control agencies, veterinary clinics and research labs, can quickly identify a code that links the animal to its owner through a database.
Please, for your pet's sake, show you care by properly identifying it.